Does green' add value

As concern perpetuates regarding the impact of climate change there is a growing shift in social consciousness and government policy towards the adoption of more environmentally sustainable practices and lifestyles.

The contentious topic has swept the globe with many countries establishing regulations to reduce energy emissions. In Australia we are witnessing the emergence of new regulatory policy to develop and enforce national housing energy efficiency standards.

Introduced in 2005, it is now mandatory for all new standard residential houses and apartments to comply with a 5 star energy rating. The national energy efficiency standard, while still relatively flexible, is aimed at reducing household energy emissions which result in the generation of an estimated 14 tonnes of green house gases by the average Australian household each year. Daily household activities such as heating and cooling, lighting and the use of major appliances are all large contributors to the production of greenhouse gases.

Some energy saving initiatives have been introduced in some states but how will property values be affected? Does subscription to sustainable trends really save you money and add value to a property? Well, according to an independent study commissioned in 2005 by the DEWHA, property in Australia's Capital Territory demonstrated a notable correlation between the energy efficiency rating of a house and its value.

While the trend towards sustainable housing is still relatively new the link between a property's energy rating and its value will only increase as knowledge and adoption of green' initiatives grows.

It's commonsense now that people are more aware of environmental issues, and the rising cost of energy and water, that it would affect their property choices. A well-designed house can slice a family's energy bill by one-third. Energy-saving bells and whistles can shrink the bills even further.